What a wonderful time of year for not only children but parents alike.Nothing brings more joy than watching out children's eyes light up with the mention of Santa Claus.The excitement is overwelming and contagious.This year however has been a little different with my eldest, who is only 7, now questioning whether Santa is real? This is an inevitable question that every parent must face at some time and an agonising one.How do you answer this one? Well I have been researching through the internet, which is a fabulous tool and have myself learnt interesting details about Santa, or St Nicholas that I myself didnt know.Some of this may help is answering this question for others.
Santa or St Nicholas, was born during the third century in the village of Patara.At the time the area was greek and is on the southern coast of Turkey.He was born of wealthy parents who raised him as a devout christian.Unfortunately they passed away from illness when he was young and so,in his strong christian beliefs, he spent his inheritance helping the poor,sick and needy.He was made the bishop of Myra, as a young man, and was known for his generosity,kindness and love of all others, including children.Many stories have been told of his kind deeds.
One story tells of of a poor man with three daughters.In the earlier days, in order for a woman to marry, her father must provide the future husband with a dowry.The bigger the dowry the better chance she has of finding a good husband, who treated her well and provided for his family.Without the dowry, the woman would be sold into slavery.Back to the story of the father with three daughters.Apparently it is written, three bags of gold mysteriously appeared on different occassions providing the father with the much needed dowries.The bags of gold were tossed through an open window and are said to have landed in stockings or shoes left by the fire to dry.Hence, children used to leave stockings or shoes out eagerly awaiting gifts from St Nicholas.
I found a great read on santa.net.This quotation may help clear the fog around this difficult question.
"Today the magic of Santa Claus is not limited to any religion.The power of Santa's legend affects parents,grandparents and of course children alike all over the world."Santa" today is a international symbol of giving and helping the needy and deserving, and a symbol of help and generiosity.In this light he is truly magical and immortal..Rather than ask whether Santa Claus is real or not maybe we should be asking whether if what Santa Claus stands for is real or not? Kindness, unselfishness and generiosty to others.These virtues are certainly real and valuable"